Times Standard (Eureka)

Single reader wants to build confidence

- By Harriette Cole Harriette Cole is a lifestylis­t and founder of DREAMLEAPE­RS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriet­te@ harriettec­ole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndicatio­n, 1130 Walnut St., Kan

Dear Harriette: I’ve been single for a while now, and I’m starting to feel overwhelme­d by the prospect of finding someone new. I want to take this time to focus on myself and what I need. It’s important for me to build confidence in myself and know that I can thrive alone if I need to. I know that a major part of being single is learning to create joy for yourself and to appreciate spending time alone, but I don’t know how. How do I make the most of this time in my life? —Single Again

Dear Single Again: What do you enjoy? Think about that. What do you like to do in your spare time? What have you wanted to do that you haven’t made time for? What makes you smile? Really think about these things and make a list for yourself. Too often we fill our days with work and little else. What if you allocated time several days a week to doing something you like?

I have a friend who has been single for some years now who is one of the most content people I know. She is into gardening and travel and discoverin­g treasures in small towns, and she does a lot of that by herself. She also invites friends to tag along when she feels like adding the company of others. What I have noticed about her is her embrace of the moment by herself. She has no problem sitting in a cafe drinking a coffee and reading the paper or traveling solo to another country and taking a tour of the countrysid­e. You need to find your interests and comfort zones. You may need to create new ones, but you can do it. And who knows? You may meet someone along the way who shares your interests.

Dear Harriette: I haven’t talked to a certain ex-friend in years, so I’m not sure what would be the appropriat­e response after learning of the death of someone very close to them. It’s likely been a difficult time for them, and I want to show some support without seeming intrusive. Would it be better for me to call, or should I just send a card or other token of condolence? What is the formality for such a situation? — I Still Care

Dear I Still Care: The question you must ask is: Would you want to talk to this former friend if the situation were reversed? If so, you may want to make that clear in whichever way you reach out. A condolence card is a safe way to show your respect. It is also the most benign way of reaching out. It is likely that your friend will receive a lot of cards and will eventually get around to yours. You can leave your phone number on a card with a note saying to call if they need anything.

You can also text your former friend to say that you learned of their loved one’s passing and wanted to be in touch. You can say that if they need anything or want to talk, they should reach out.

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